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Formation of Trihalomethanes in Soil and Groundwater by the Release of Sodium Hypochlorite

Jackman, Thomas A., Hughes, Carrie L.
Ground water monitoring & remediation 2010 v.30 no.1 pp. 74-78
groundwater contamination, soil pollution, sodium hypochlorite, organic matter, chemical reactions, chloroform
Trihalomethanes (THMs) are formed by the reaction of reactive chlorine species, such as hypochlorous acid, with naturally occurring organic matter. THMs are also found in soil and groundwater at sites where releases of organic solvents have occurred and are often ascribed to the biological degradation chlorinated solvents. This research was prompted by the discovery of THMs in groundwater at a site with a reported discharge of sodium hypochlorite. This paper reports the formation of THMs in soil and water resulting from the reaction of sodium hypochlorite with soil. Soil samples were reacted with dilute bleach solutions (sodium hypochlorite) and the solution collected for analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. All THMs were detected in test samples after treatment. Concentrations of chloroform up to 2450 μg/L in aqueous extracts were detected compared to 40 μg/L in bleach and 1 μg/L in blank samples.